Monday, November 08, 2010

up and down and up #2

so this is inevitably how every blog posting and academic paper i write go;

i sit and struggle and try to push myself as hard and as far as i can go
i write it down
i normally think it brilliant and super perceptive
i post it/hand it in
a day later i read it and freak out because i think it sounds the stupidest thing in the world and feel embarrassed about ever saying those things and surprised that i still have friends/teachers who respect me at all.

it is a cycle which has become sort of funny to me. is all part of the process i guess. self-doubt self-doubt self-doubt

anyway, i promised you a sequel. here it is.

last post was a long rant about my last year - challenges i faced, things i overcame, learnings i've learned, things i am still struggling with.

i didn't mention much about God, and that surprised me a lot. But that has been its own journey the last little while. so this is what's been going on.

somewhere in 2008 i felt i had somewhat of an awakening; a real understanding and picture of what the world could be and was intended to be - a place of justice and of true LIBERATION (that word still excites me, so i will yell it). There was a moment where all that i have been struggling with reconciling with each other - things which i believed in thoroughly but seemed to counteract each other - made perfect sense together - Christianity, spirituality, religion, justice, feminism, oppression. i felt reawakened, alive, excited about this new vision/understanding. I was once frightened of God and his violence; his unattainable demands; the biblical words and stories where justice seems to be perpetuated within its very traditions and words.

i felt an aha moment where God became ever-bigger and where everything i cared about made sense to me. A God of no gender, who demands and creates justice, a God of ever-love to all no matter what race, religion, gender, a God who truly reaches out to us in so many ways, who hates patriarchy, injustice, oppression, and all that dehumanizes people.

everything made sense, and i was passionate to work towards a world where the words Christian and feminism and justice are commonly understood to work hand in hand together.

this went super well, for about a year (but what a year!)

somewhere along the way i started to lose hope. to lose hope in real change, to lose faith in the church that i held so dear that it would ever break its own chains and patterns of oppression. i felt so estranged and marginalized from the community that was such a part of my self-identity. i couldn't stomach walking into a church anymore, hearing and feeling its inherent oppression - its hierarchical patriarchal structures which perpetuate injustices and are full of power struggles. i jumped around from church to church hoping for a place where i could really feel like i belonged, but gave up to find this, in Winnipeg at least.

i felt tired of being othered from both the Christian community for being a feminist, and felt othered from the feminist community for being a Christian. It is a battle that I am tired of, and needed to take some time off.

this is getting long. anyway.

somewhere i lost hope in God, in the church. the two seem so intertwined. how can i work towards such a hurtful, injustice-perpetuating place? how can i actually be feminist in Christian places, or vice-versa? I was tired of being beat up from every side. see last post re: bitch quote.

so i wandered my own desert. found great comfort in SCM. felt really disconnected from God and her church.

and, like always, my wandering has seemed to take me full-circle back to where i started. i do trust God. i don't trust the church, or any religious structure really, to not be a tool of oppression and colonization. and after about a year of not being able to pray, play, find comfort in, dialogue or dance with God without feeling so pained about everything, i have been back to exploring this relationship that her and i have. this perpetual dance we have with each other throughout life of discovering each other a bit more, gaining distance, getting closer, back and forth.

i have been praying again, journalling again, pondering her ways and seeking a connection with her, also feeling comfort and some fulfillment in her presence again. so am experimenting with this again, intentionally inviting her presence into my life, consciously trying to open myself up to what she has to say to me. its been fun - familiar but strange and frightening in many ways. trust is so difficult.

i recognize, even today, how crazy this might sound. i really believe in a divine being who cares about our daily lives, who walk alongside me and who i can interact with in fun and significant and wild wild wild ways. who i am trying to remember loves me no matter what, and how important it is for me to have that sort of daily presence in my life. i am excited about this, and humbled.

still estranged from the church, and largely happily so. but we'll see where that leads as well. likely the full circle will come again where i will once again feel welcome within its reach and feel that i can believe in what it stands for again.

we'll see.

1 comment:

Arron K-W said...

such a journey. thank you for sharing it. it's good for those of us who can recognize parts of our own struggles in your words to know that we are not the only ones grappling with these things.

namaste my friend.